In my near two decade fitness career I have had the pleasure of working with many clients of varying ages, abilities, dysfunctions, and goals. In that time span I have worked with many Collegiate Athletes, budding youth athletes, obese and overweight populations, post-rehab/surgical clients, elderly populations, medical populations, the generally healthy, and even an Olympic athlete. With this wide spectrum of clients I began to find one common problem within each demographic: the lack of movement within their training programs.
I am sure that it is not a surprise for some of these groups, but it may come as a surprise for other groups. In my experience modern life has made us less and less likely to move. As the human race has evolved we have developed lifestyles of efficiency. Unfortunately this efficiency of life has made us inefficient operators of our bodies.
When we are brought into this world we are a blank slate, ready to absorb as much as we possibly can. Everything we learn is through experimentation and exploration. It is trial and error. The more error there is the quicker we learn. It is an amazing time in our lives. Everything is a new experience. We learn to smile, laugh, talk, crawl, walk, and run. We learn to interact with others. We learn to interact with and manipulate objects. We learn to play. Our play is wide and vast, almost limitless.
At some point in our lives we take one of two tracks. We either become sedentary or we become specialized. We may choose to play video games and watch tv instead of going outside and running around playing. We may choose to play organized sports. If we do play sports we start to specialize very early. Many sports have become year round with the school season sport, AAU sport, Travel leagues, and sport specific training. Our wide and vast movement patterns that we once had begun to disappear.
As we grow even older we go to college and take jobs that have us bound to a desk, hunched over a computer. If we have the time and motivation to go to the gym, we pick select exercises that are inefficient and may cover only a very few of the movement patterns that are woefully missing from our lives.
Due to this slippery slope of non-movement, as we age we are unable to perform certain tasks efficiently. Picking things up off the ground, reaching for a seat belt, getting up off the floor all become arduous tasks. Our joints begin to get immobile, sore, swollen and broken down. Sudden movements become risks of severe injury. If an injury occurs it will take nearly two to three times as it once did to recover fully from it, if at all. Chances are there will always be a limitation from the injury which ultimately will cause a compensation pattern. This will put undue stress upon another system or joint until there is another injury. Once this injury cycle is entered into it is hard to escape. Quality of function and ultimately quality of life is severely diminished.
It has been said that exercise is the only singular thing that reduces the risk of every known disease and illness and prolongs life. I submit that movement is the only singular thing that will enhance and extend functional capacity, reduce injury, and increase quality of life. My aim is to add movement back into fitness and into people’s lives.
Because of this I have created the Primitive Initiative®(notice the that I trademarked it! That’s how strongly I believe this is the direction that the field should be and is going). The Primitive Initiative® is a movement oriented training model based on 14 fundamental movement patterns arranged in a specific sequence to maximize results. It combines biomechanical training with energy system sequencing to provide real life fitness for real life movements. Whether you call it athleticism, mobility or functionality, Primitive Initiative® enables the human body to operate in all planes of motion, in all positions of center of gravity, at all levels of intensity, in varying bases of support with efficiency and proficiency. The Primitive Initiative® aims to add real human movement patterns back into fitness and exercise. This is the movement for movement, and I am excited to share this technique with you over the next several blogs!